A few things to think about


The recent behavior of Maciel and Sons, the Vineyard Haven septic company, can only be described as outrageous.

Within weeks of the firm being fined $500 in Edgartown and having their license in that town suspended for 15 days, the Tisbury board of health issued an order for the company to remove two septic trucks that are buried at High Point Lane on property they don’t even own. The trucks were being used for storage and, as health agent Maura Valley noted, that is a violation of Title 5. As a defense, one of the Maciels told Valley that the trucks were still on wheels, as the law requires — they were “just buried.”

There is tremendous potential for harm to the environment, including having the human waste leach into the water table. And while we certainly support the health board’s order to have the trucks removed, we wonder why the board didn’t take Valley’s recommendation to hold a hearing regarding Maciel’s permit to operate in town.

The Tisbury health board should have known about the Edgartown incident where the Maciels returned to a home over a billing dispute and pumped septage back into the homeowner’s system.

What the Maciels did in Tisbury should have been considered a second offense to what they did in Edgartown. 

The only way to change behavior is to hold someone accountable.

That yellow ramp on Beach Road in Vineyard Haven, used to cover a hose from a fuel tank replacement project, sure had its share of problems. When it was first installed, some vehicles were bottoming out, and later there was an incident with bolts coming loose on the ramp — a potential hazard to tires.

But there was something about that ramp that we really, really liked. It slowed traffic on Beach Road entering Five Corners. Suddenly that notorious intersection seemed a lot more manageable.

We know the Island’s distaste for traffic lights, and we won’t even mention the “R” word (roundabout, not regionalization), but a speed table could go a long way to making that stretch of roadway safer. Minus the bottoming out, of course.

The Tisbury select board should make that case to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to add the traffic-calming measures near Five Corners.

The reaction to the streetscape plan approved by the Oak Bluffs select board appears unanimous: What were you thinking? In a split vote, the board approved the streetscape plan, which includes changing some diagonal parking spots to parallel parking on busy Circuit Avenue. The idea is to make way for wider sidewalks in an effort to create a more pedestrian-friendly experience.

Of concern is that some members of the select board could not clearly articulate other parts of the plan the day after voting on it. When select board members vote on an important change, they ought to know it inside and out, and be able to explain the plan to reporters — and, more importantly, their constituents.



    • Marie– you can check the record– I was a very vocal advocate for the roundabout by the high school .
      One at 5 corners would be a disaster– that is because during the summer when boats come in, cars often back up from Main st to 5 corners. if one spoke of a roundabout is gridlocked, the entire roundabout gets gridlocked. No traffic can enter from any direction.
      But I think it’s time to start planning a roundabout at the intersection of the west tisbury road and the airport road. I have seen some back ups as people coming from W.T turn left to go towards O.B

  1. Marie, I think a roundabout at five corners is a brilliant idea! I’m flabbergasted that the idea never popped into my head or why is it the first time I’m finally hearing of a solution to an actual, real problem that has been with us for ever. Since materials would have to be ordered why not double it and put another roundabout at the intersection of State, Look, and Edgartown Road near Morrice Florist? The machinery will already be nearby after the completion of the one at 5 Corners. The only problem is that it might make too much sense.

  2. Peter– take a look at the look st, intersection.
    A roundabout there would make matters worse, traffic backed up to 5 corners would not allow anyone into the roundabout. It would gridlock.
    I have a few suggestions—
    At 5 corners, get rid of the 3 stop signs, and put yield signs on every direction.
    Think about it— a stop sign means stop until you have no traffic in the right of way lanes– there are days when that will take hours. Tourist who have never encountered such a cluster muck of an intersection often are confused and sit there for a while. Ultimately, they are forced to run the stop sign.
    I have no idea why the bypass on Holmes hole road has not flown.. It is the no brainer solution

  3. Are people really that stupid to enter a roundabout and block it after seeing that their intended exit isn’t even moving? Don’t answer that. Maybe, but I think roundabouts would clear gridlocks that already exist faster than what there is now. Don, I DO like your yield sign idea (that could be simply and inexpensively tested) and of course the Holmes Hole Road bypass.

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